Elizabeth Skewes

Journalism and Mass Communication

Since I’m teaching in the C term this summer, I’m going to put some of what I’ve learned here into practice right away. I’ve set up a new WordPress blog page for the course, which I’ve made public. I’m going to be using this for most of the course, so in addition to working on stories for local news organizations, students will use the main blog page to post about trends and issues in journalism. If they’re thinking of going into the field as professionals, then they need to know what pressures they’ll be facing.

I’m setting up a companion site in D2L since I want a non-public space where they can go to post questions about the internships that they do as part of the course. So, for instance, if someone wants to get advice on how to deal with a jerk of an editor (and there are a few of those), D2L will be a better spot to go for that kind of discussion since the “jerk of an editor” in question won’t be able to see those posts. 

I’m going to play — yes, I said play, so some of what Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown had to say did make sense — with Camtasia to put some video instruction on the site, though I haven’t done that yet. I tried embedding the clip from “The Daily Show,” but the embed code didn’t work, so I went with the link to the URL instead. In any case, I like the idea of the video clips and I’m certain that I’ll do more of those, especially once I learn more about how to edit better in Camtasia. 

I might make use of the word clouds, especially at the start of class, to get their sense of what they like in stories that they read. A word cloud posted on the site might help them think about the things that they should have in their stories. And I will make use of group editing in Google docs this summer to see if that kind of tool can better help them understand how to revise a story.

As for some of the other tools that we’ve learned about, I can certainly see using Wikispaces in the fall to have students develop a series of case studies that they research and explore, and some of the bibliographic tools sound like they’ll be tremendously helpful in my research, though I’m not sure how much I’ll use them in class. I hesitate to give the students too many sites to track, so I’ll start with WordPress and D2L and see what works best for them and me.


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